Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Recruiting experts in
Accountancy & Finance

ANU student politics plumbing new depths

By johnboy - 8 June 2012 15

The ACT Branch of the National Union Of Students is taking another swing at the ANU Student Association as the fallout intensifies following allegations of widespread looting of students funds.

I’ll let you read for yourselves.

Tags

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
15 Responses to
ANU student politics plumbing new depths
QuietPlease 6:06 pm 12 Jun 12

c_c said :

Also a correction to my earlier post:

c_c said :

Found during the audit according to ANUSA.

It was found by an accountant, which I took to mean an accountant performing an audit.

This was not the case, apparently the accountant was performing his routine duties. Again, how money from three organisations over such a period of time could go missing if this guy was doing his routine job remains a mystery, hence the assumption he was performing a more in depth audit to reveal it.

can you show me that source? that says it was found by an accountant and not the reps themselves?

p1: well done for bringing it back to point. I don’t think I can remember there being a serious discussion on ANUSA’s affiliation with NUS. It’s sort of taken for granted. But if NUS ACT can’t support ANUSA during these times then maybe there needs to be a debate about the status of their affiliation.

p1 9:55 am 12 Jun 12

On the subject of the relationship between ANUSA & NUS:

I was at ANU in the late nineties when the student body voted several times on whether to become affiliated with NUS. At the time I was pretty against it, seeing it as another layer of bullshit student politics with very little service to the student community attached (the ANUSA, while steered by bullshit student politics did at least provide quite at lot of beneficial services to the student body.

Plus, at the time, with membership of the ANUSA being compulsory, voting to join NUS was committing money I (or other students) was required to pay to them indefinitely.

Oddly, while each time affiliation was voted down another vote was scheduled, once a vote got up there was never a vote put forward again asking if the student body wanted to continue the association.

[Disclaimer: All this is from my memory, and records from that period are hazy at best]

c_c 12:52 am 12 Jun 12

Also a correction to my earlier post:

c_c said :

Found during the audit according to ANUSA.

It was found by an accountant, which I took to mean an accountant performing an audit.

This was not the case, apparently the accountant was performing his routine duties. Again, how money from three organisations over such a period of time could go missing if this guy was doing his routine job remains a mystery, hence the assumption he was performing a more in depth audit to reveal it.

c_c 11:42 pm 11 Jun 12

The SSAF goes into a fund (worth just over $3m at ANU for 2012). The fund is for Universities to spend on services. The types of services they can spend it on is controlled via provisions in the legislation.

There is no requirement that those funds then be delegated to student organisations, that ANUSA, ANUU and ANUSM receive funding from the SSAF fund is a courtesy. It’s a privilege, not a right.

QuietPlease 10:02 pm 11 Jun 12

c_c:

it depends how you characterise their income. The funding in 2012 comes from the Student Services and Amenities Fee, not ANU revenue. The ANU simply administers it. It is student money intended to support student services on campus. Under Chubb, the ANU funded the Association before SSAF to make up for the revenue lost from voluntary unionism. The ANU recognises the importance of having independent, student run organisations and seeing as though the audits are independent, i’m sure the ANU would be fine with these audits, instead of conducting their own.

Can you please show me the source where ANUSA said it was picked up during an audit, I haven’t seen that anywhere. Besides, an auditor would defer to the people who hired them before going straight to the police. Even if it was the audit that picked it up, it was still the decision of the executive to go to the police.

As for the gaps in the timesheet, these are essentially volunteer positions and the people in them are students. I’m sure the office hours will deteriorate greatly around exam times, as should be expected. But we can’t expect them to keep regular hours without agreeing to pay them a regular wage, or expect them to defer for a year.

In concession: I have no idea why the timesheets are not online, however, they have just moved to a new website so let’s both hope they’ll be uploaded shortly.

I wouldn’t rely too heavily on the Canberra Times article, not to detract from their skills, but I doubt they have the full story. The timeframe for the fraud is unknown, to be precise, so until we do know I don’t think we should be having a direct dig. If the discrepancies were detected late last year, and was then being dealt with by the current administration, then it could be said that no one was complicit.

It’s been repeated several times, but it’s an ongoing investigation and is in police hands now. Trial by law, not trial by media, especially speculative media, such as this.

I can’t understand why everyone’s talking about having proper processes in place. They are in place and that’s how this was detected and was referred to the police.

c_c 8:58 pm 11 Jun 12

QuietPlease said :

c_c: How do you know it was the auditor who picked it up?

Found during the audit according to ANUSA.

QuietPlease said :

ANUSA is a separate identity to the ANU and allowing the ANU auditors in would be spitting in the face of student independence.

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

In 2010, 85% of ANUSA’s general income came directly from the ANU.

In 2011, it was 90%.

And in 2012, it’s projected to be just under 95%, or $906,000.

As a percentage of total ANUSA income, ANU funding will account for over 80% in 2012.

To ANUSA’s credit, they are generating some impressive growth in revenues from O-Week and various Sponsorships, but the organisation is still financially dependant on the ANU. The ANU as ANUSA’s financier has an interest in ensuring ANUSA is using the funds given to it appropriately.

QuietPlease said :

As for the timesheet allegations, I believe ANUSA ran some very successful first year faculty camps earlier this year…over the weekends…could this maybe account for a 48hr straight shift?

That wouldn’t account for large gaps where it appears people weren’t working, or that the time-sheets have been removed and kept out of public ever since.

QuietPlease said :

We still don’t know when it was first discovered, so it seems a bit rich to accuse 3 presidents, 2 executives and 3 ANUSM teams without actually knowing the facts.

It’s called fraud for a reason, we don’t know if the “close friends” signed off on it, and presumably if they were close friends then the police wouldn’t have become involved and a civil settlement would have been pursued.

Canberra Times says the thefts happened over an 18mth period. Obviously the investigation will determine exact details, but if the person involved did actually do it, then everyone will know that he served in the positions for over 18mths. The time frame fits.

As for close friends. Not saying they were actively involved, but friends don’t tend to scrutinise one another. There is a level of trust and familiarity that without any ill intent, can lead to complicity. It’s important to reveal that and ensure future procedures prevent it if a problem.

QuietPlease 6:27 pm 11 Jun 12

c_c: How do you know it was the auditor who picked it up? As far as I know the 2011 auditor hasn’t reported yet, meaning it is more than likely it was the current administration that picked up on the malfeasance.

We still don’t know when it was first discovered, so it seems a bit rich to accuse 3 presidents, 2 executives and 3 ANUSM teams without actually knowing the facts.

It’s called fraud for a reason, we don’t know if the “close friends” signed off on it, and presumably if they were close friends then the police wouldn’t have become involved and a civil settlement would have been pursued.

To the audio equipment; just because it didn’t appear in further minutes doesn’t mean it wasn’t resolved. Maybe they turned up, in which case why would it be mentioned again? Maybe, they didn’t show up, a police report was filed and they were claimed back on insurance. We just don’t know. But if every coming and going was mentioned in the minutes, the reps would be facing 6 hour meetings just rehashing everything, without actually doing anything.

As for the timesheet allegations, I believe ANUSA ran some very successful first year faculty camps earlier this year…over the weekends…could this maybe account for a 48hr straight shift?

ANUSA is a separate identity to the ANU and allowing the ANU auditors in would be spitting in the face of student independence. Alternatively, if you genuinely believe there is a case for the police to get involved then call them. But it seems to me that you are unwilling to grant the benefit of the doubt to the student reps and instead prefer to offer conjecture and conspiracy instead of facts. Not a great start for a budding journo.

Postalgeek 5:39 pm 09 Jun 12

Is it possible for student politics to plumb any deeper without drowning in the North Atlantic Ocean?

c_c 5:38 pm 09 Jun 12

QuietPlease said :

c_c said :

It’s time for the Police to launch a full investigation of the executive and office bearers of ANUSA, ANUSM and Inter-hall Sports, for both 2011 and 2012.

on what basis c_c? the police are already investigating an allegation brought to them by the current exec.

I want to be clear that I am not implying anyone else is involved, nor I am aware of evidence that anyone else is.

The investigation currently underway was not instigated because the executive or any office bearer found the errors, it only happened after an external auditor found it.

That means that for 18mths (as reported by the Canberra Times), three ANUSA Presidents, two sets of ANUSA executive teams, and three sets of ANUSM executive managed to miss that these funds were disappearing.

The person who has been named was close friends with a number of members of ANUSA and ANUSM including two former Presidents of ANUSA, and in his own words had a close working relationship with them. Those people happen to be the trustees of ANUSA’s finances. They would have had to sign off on expenditure and on reports about expenditure.

In February of this year, minutes from the ANUSA SRC meeting show that a question was raised about stolen hardware, yet nothing seems to have been done. It was just accepted the item had gone missing.

And in March, I noted on RA inconsistencies in the time sheets of the ANUSA executive. The time sheets were then promptly removed from the ANUSA website and have not returned since.

So we have missing assets, missing money, documents with inconsistencies that are now themselves missing (at least from public view).

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ascertain whether those closely associated to this person were merely blind and incompetent, or complicit or worse. And only the Police have the power to look into financial details and communications to the extent that would reveal that, though I certainly wouldn’t say no to the ANU bringing in an auditor as well.

QuietPlease 3:58 pm 09 Jun 12

Haha wow! Student politics, gotta love it.

I wouldn’t take Petterson too seriously though, he was annihilated by the incumbents in the last election so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a bit of a personal swing.

Plus it’s not the ACT Union of Students, it’s the NUS ACT branch. If the National President tells him to shut it, then maybe he should listen. I’m sure their constitution states something like “the object of the state branch is to perform the tasks appointed by the national body of the NUS in their state”…or something like that.

c_c said :

It’s time for the Police to launch a full investigation of the executive and office bearers of ANUSA, ANUSM and Inter-hall Sports, for both 2011 and 2012.

on what basis c_c? the police are already investigating an allegation brought to them by the current exec.

DrKoresh 1:04 pm 09 Jun 12

thanks JB

johnboy 12:55 pm 09 Jun 12
DrKoresh 12:48 pm 09 Jun 12

it’s not loading for me, and the way the image is embedded i can’t just find the source site to view from. Would some kind person mind posting a link for me, or at least giving me the gist? Cheers.

c_c 7:06 pm 08 Jun 12

It’s time for the Police to launch a full investigation of the executive and office bearers of ANUSA, ANUSM and Inter-hall Sports, for both 2011 and 2012.

Endrey 7:01 pm 08 Jun 12

Any part of me that I enjoy using just turned black and died.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site